Blog Post

Announcing Six New Grants to Support Virtual Exchange Programs in the United States, the Middle East, and North Africa

April 24, 2019

The Stevens Initiative is excited to announce six new grants to schools and organizations that are implementing virtual exchange programs for students from middle schools and high schools to colleges and universities. Virtual exchange offers youth from around the world an opportunity to develop career-readiness skills, global competencies, and cross-cultural connections, which is why the Initiative aims to expand the reach of virtual exchange to thousands more young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Through the work of these new programs, the Stevens Initiative will expand its reach to nearly 40,000 students in 15 MENA countries and the Palestinian Territories, and in 44 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. Programs will begin this April and will continue through the summer of 2021.

This is the third round of grants awarded by the Stevens Initiative. Programs include:

  • Global Nomads Group (GNG): Campfire, GNG’s flagship program, focuses on virtual storytelling – an interdisciplinary and powerful vehicle for youth to build empathy, self-awareness, and global understanding.
  • International Research & Exchanges Board, Inc. (IREX): The Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge (GSSC), implemented by IREX, connects students in the United States, Jordan, and Iraq to virtually collaborate on a sustainable solution to a contemporary business challenge.
  • Soliya: Soliya’s Connect Global will bring together college-aged youth in the United States and in the Middle East and North Africa for online, face-to-face dialogue.
  • William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI): Implemented by WDI, Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum is a classroom-to-classroom, action-learning course on international business cultures that brings together students from Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, and the U.S.
  • World Learning: The Experiment Digital, implemented by World Learning, is a two-month summer virtual exchange program that helps high school-aged youth become more civically engaged by empowering them to plan and execute a community service project.
  • World Learning: The NextGen Coders Network (NGCN) is a virtual exchange implemented by World Learning that will bring together university students and young professionals to create solutions to their countries’ greatest challenges using code.

If you are interested in bringing one of these programs to your school or university, complete this form.

The work of these new programs will be featured in the Initiative’s “Virtual Exchange Is…” digital campaign which aims to raise awareness about the transformative power of virtual exchange using #worldclassconnection. Learn more about how to participate in the campaign here.

Created in 2015 by the Stevens family as a living legacy to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Stevens Initiative is a public-private partnership that is building global competencies and 21st century skills for young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa. Through virtual exchange, the Initiative connects youth through technology to collaborate and learn together, giving them access to a substantive international exchange. Learn more about the Stevens Initiative here.

The Stevens Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and is administered by the Aspen Institute. It is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

More Blog Posts

See All Blog Posts